Detect compressed air leaks with pneumatics diagnostic system

19 September 2012

SMC Pneumatics (UK) Ltdvisit website


European compressed air users are literally leaking EUR2.3billion of profits into the environment every year, according to research by SMC. Energy Saving Audits conducted by SMC’s team of experts have revealed that poor system design and inadequate maintenance are having a significant impact on the cost of production, with up to 20 per cent of all compressed air simply leaking away. This equates to 55 million tonnes of the greenhouse gas, CO2, being released into the environment annually.

To solve the problem, SMC’s new ALDS detects air leakages as and when they occur, even on a daily basis, and confirms the exact value of the leak in providing maintenance personnel with a detailed report on where the leakages are located without the need to detect individual components.

SMC’s European Energy Saving Project Leader, Sebastian Fabio Agnello, says: “Manufacturers are seeing their hard-earned profits disappear into thin air and are also paying a heavy environmental cost. It is often labour intensive and disruptive to detect or monitor for compressed air leakages, and is a low priority for many businesses. However, thanks to our ALDS this is no longer an issue as it can be easily integrated into existing machinery as a diagnostic system.”

The ALDS is simple to use and is based on a manifold block consisting of a Standard Series PFM flow meter, together with the introduction of a diverting valve, which is installed in the machine’s main air supply. The valve is operated using sequence instructions which are integrated in the machine’s operating software.

Using a pre-programmed ‘check leakage cycle’ each compressed air circuit on the machine can be individually monitored and all the leakage values/position recorded into the PLC. These records can then be issued as a report to maintenance departments, thereby ensuring efficiency in both air leakage detection and potential energy savings.

Sebastian Fabio Agnello adds: “Higher global energy costs are a major concern and we are constantly looking at ways to save money, reduce energy consumption and at the same time help the environment. Compared to manual, ultrasound measuring devices the ALDS increases the frequency of leak detection and cuts staff overheads, therefore, reducing overall production costs and adding to the bottom line.

“At SMC we are proud to have developed a world-leading range of energy saving products that are enabling our customers to be more competitive and greener too.”

For more information about SMC’s energy saving products, including the ALDS, visit

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